Feb 03

3 Things to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

Insurance Long TermDoes your financial plan take into account all of the possibilities regarding your health and your ability to care for yourself in the future? Most people don’t think twice about insuring their possessions, or protecting their families with a life insurance product. Yet many pass on the opportunity to purchase long-term care insurance, hoping they will be fortunate enough to avoid the need for costly extended care in their lifetime or believing they will somehow manage with their own resources if they do require it. Here are three reasons it makes sense for some people to consider investing in a long-term care insurance policy.

There’s a good chance you’ll need some form of long-term care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of Americans age 65 today can expect to need long-term care services of some kind before they die. People generally also are living longer, having smaller families and saving less than previous generations. All of these factors point to a stronger possibility that if a need for care arises in the future, many of us may not have sufficient resources to manage on our own.

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Feb 03

How a Nursing Home Liability Brought Sunshine to Retirement

Nursing Home LiabiltySpunky.

That’s the word you could use to describe the eighty plus woman living in the aging facility. There would have to be a few more adjectives added to really do her justice. How about youthful? Fun loving? Adorable? Life of the party? Saintly? Yes, those and more could have accurately described Fay Sunnenshine.

But let’s start from the beginning.

When Fay’s children accompanied her for a preliminary visit to the aging services facility, the admission staff was doubtful. Here was a smiling woman that clearly presented a fall risk. The claim control department had a hard time allowing her residency.

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Feb 03

Taking The Mystery Out Of Long-Term Care Insurance

Insurance 9Here’s the good news: with improvements in medical technology and healthier lifestyles, people are living longer. Life expectancy today has increased to 83 years, up from 78 years in 1940 (The Shopper’s Guide to Long-term Care Insurance from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners).

However, the longer people live, the greater the chances they will need assistance due to chronic health conditions. Today, about 12.8 million Americans of all ages require some type of long-term care (National Academy on Aging, 1997). This number is expected to climb as the baby boomer
generation moves into retirement. Over a lifetime, nearly 50 percent of all people will require some type of long-term care assistance.

One way to pay for some or all of your long-term care expenses is insurance. First introduced in the 1980s, long-term care insurance was originally designed as nursing home insurance. Today’s long-term care policies now cover much more. They include home health care, assisted living facility care,

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Feb 03

Cut Business Insurance in 8 ways

Insurance 101. Comply with recommendations from company engineers and loss control. Naturally, the company will be more favorable to their customers who help keep losses down.

2. Voluntarily take steps to eliminate hazardous conditions and create a safe environment any company would want to insure. And safeguard your property to reduce the risk of theft and damage. This puts you in a position of deserving the lowest rate possible.

3. Make a list of the actions you’ve taken to reduce your risk. I’ll be able to use that list to negotiate your rates.

4. Minimize your claims. The businesses that will get the highest rate increases, or not be able to get insurance at all, will be those with frequent small losses or who ignored loss control recommendations.

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Jan 15

5 Important Things Every Condo Should Have

oostergast1The demand for condos is still high and a good number of developers are making them available to meet with the market demands. New condos come with better amenities, units and benefits and they are not really equal. Some are better than others, but there are things or features that you can use to be sure that the condo you are interested in is really worth the money you are going to spend on it.

1. Good location

To many people, location seems like a cliché but it is something that still remains to be very important. If you are looking at a long time investment with your condo, then you cannot afford to overlook the location. The location should work in terms of family needs, culture, career and relaxation. In essence, a good condo will be located in the area that you love and one that is most convenient for you.

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Jan 05

Condo Living Versus Single Family Homes – What Is a Better Investment?

oostergast2Many who find themselves on the hunt for luxury homes fail to consider a condominium. In 2015, condos offer much more than a glorified apartment feeling as they have in the past. They certainly raise the bar when it comes to house hunting. One can achieve everything within a condo that they can in a detached home, and realize many more benefits than imagined.

Choosing a condo instead of a luxury home that’s built for a single family is actually a smart decision. It pays to explore the advantages in order to make an informed decision as to what will work best for one’s personal living arrangements and their choice of lifestyle.

Less Maintenance

Owning a luxury home is stressful. As the sole owner, one is responsible for all upkeep including painting both indoors and out, landscaping, snow plowing, and all sorts of repairs. A condo is also an investment, but much of the repairs worries are eliminated and covered by condo fees.

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May 04

3 Useful Tips to Choose the Right Windows for Home’s Exterior

The headline of the article may seem to be weird, because we got accustomed to the fact that windows look the same on the outside and inside of the house. However, winnows experts from Guelph clarify this fact saying that today you can order windows that will have different appearance on the sides in order to match your style preferences. Windows in general can either complement and complete the appeal of your house on either side, or completely destroy the whole charm. Professionals explain that the greatest advantage of fiberglass windows is that when choosing them there is no need to sacrifice energy efficiency to the visual appeal or vice versa. Fiberglass windows options on Guelph market today have a great variety of choices in terms of colors, styles, shapes, sizes, and some extras such as grilles. Read the article below to make your new fiberglass windows an indispensable part of your home’s style.

Style

The range of architectural styles of the houses in Guelph is huge and each of them transforms any house once applied. For example, if you plan to remake your house and you prefer modern designs, then you need to know that modern implies large fixed windows to create glass walls. On the other hand, traditional homes regularly have standard size windows Guelph experts say, such as casements, double hung windows and a couple of awning windows here and there.

Exterior color

Depending on the style of your house and the dominating color you need to choose the color for your new windows. With fiberglass you can choose different colors for different parts of your house so that they will ideally complement interior and exterior designs. A great addition to the benefits of fiberglass windows, according to Guelph professionals, is that fiberglass is covered with special baked on paint finish, which means that the problems with peeling or chipping paint can be forgotten. Moreover, windows maintenance will no longer include re-painting process. Today there us no problem in choosing the appropriate color for your project as by mixing classic colors you can get any dye shade you need.

Extras: Grilles and Transoms

We got accustomed to the idea that grills are used only to raise security level of the house and transoms are only for extra ventilation. But windows professionals from Guelph explain that today such things have changed. Now a lot of people use these windows extras in order to make them look more beautiful and creative. Most frequently grilles are installed to complement traditional style in houses with small windows, however these additions can be applied to large windows in order to “break” their size. Transoms are common to add some mystery to the front doors and large windows for any home style.

Janet Thornton is established as a content producer for a line of online content hubs (including businesses like Can Choice Windows & Doors), who sheds light on a variety of home renovation topics and anything else related. A restless nomad of digital community and an influential figure in all things related to the home improvement projects.

Feb 23

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m Sixty-Four

The American senior population has exploded as baby boomers turn 65. According to the US census report released in May of 2014, the aging population will almost double in size from the 2012 level of 43.1 million to 83.7 million by 2050. Among the millions, will be many that will need long term care. Who will supply that care if you should need it?

What care might you need? Did you rise out of bed this morning, hurry to the bathroom? Did you shower and dress? Did you feed yourself? These are the “acts of daily living” that we do every day without thinking about them. Insurance companies define acts of daily living as transferring, toileting, continence, bathing, dressing and eating. When you are unable to perform two of these activities, you may qualify for long term care.

I often joke as a mother of four, one of my children will take care of me. Hopefully, this will be the case. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and arthritis and I do not qualify for a long term care insurance.

I am an insurance agent who sells long term care insurance. Sadly, I have received calls inquiring about policy for a parent who has had a stroke or some other health issue that requires 24 hour care. Unfortunately, when you need long term care you don’t qualify for a long term care policy. So prepare! Explore your options.

Medicare and Medicaid, “government entitlement programs”, will pay for your medical care but they are not designed for long term care. However, Medicaid will pay for a nursing home, if your assets are not more than $2,000.

Here is a brief list of other options you may explore:

* A traditional long term care policy

* A universal life policy with a long term care rider

*A reverse mortgage

*Self insuring

What kind of care would you like? Do you want to be cared for in your home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home? Tour nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your area. The costs may surprise you. Investigate the cost of a home health aide or a sitter that can prepare meals and clean your home. Use these facts to estimate the $s needed to keep you in the style you are accustomed to.

Keep your golden years golden for you and your family and friends. That old adage, “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail” rings true in this situation. Hopefully, we will live out the last years of our life in good health and conclude it with a peaceful death our own beds. But if not, you have a plan.

Feb 20

The Taxing of Unaffordable Insurance On Middle-Class America

Are the past due medical bills piling while annoyingly fighting on the phone with the health insurance company about medical coverage? Do you have a strategy or plan to pay the hospital or private physicians for services rendered? Are all these incessant thoughts affecting your relationships and you feel there is no way out of this rut? Welcome to the world of “affordable” insurance, where it has been really affordable for insurance companies to provide low premiums in exchange for high deductibles. These affordable plans are sufficient for the healthy person until life throws the curve ball and the shocking sticker price makes one cringe. The savings at the front end may wither once the realization that deductibles have to be met. Looking to switch to another insurance plan may not be the solution as premiums increase while deductibles decrease, but the loopholes leave wiggle room to pass on the cost-sharing from the health insurance company to the consumer.

The Affordable Care Act was intended to expand coverage and provide medical access to all through subsidies for eligible participants. However, one would be gullible to think that an ineligible participant is any worse off than the eligible participant. The difference between the two types of participants is the subsidies for the premiums allotted to eligible participants, but the deductible remain the same for both participants. The metal level chosen will determine the deductible cap. For instance, the premiums for a bronze plan will be dependent on the individual/ family’s income but the deductibles can reach as high as $3500 annually before the insurance begins to cover the cost. Patients and physicians have reported that insurance companies work out deals with medical facilities to keep patients in the deductible zone as long as possible so not to pay for bills exceeding the out-of-pocket maximum.

Additionally, Americans are told in every election cycle that Middle-Class America will be the campaign’s focus, yet nothing is done to alleviate the high cost of living bearing down on Middle-Class America. The advantages of the Affordable Care Act was to extend Medicaid eligibility to more participants and to subsidize participants earning less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. A Middle-Class American family of four earning over $90,000 will not receive a health insurance subsidy, no matter how high expenses may get. To clarify, a couple earning $150,000 with expenditures of a car lease, nanny, student loans, insurance, utility bills, food and etc., will not live the American dream of buying a house in suburbia or have a proper financial retirement savings account. The less fortunate will be covered through Medicaid while the low-end Middle-Class American family will have subsidies for the insurance premiums and the rich can afford the premiums. How does the Affordable Care Act benefit a Middle-Class American family? Another question posed is, who benefitted from the passage of this legislation?

Oddly enough, the Federal Government and Unions fought for an exemption status for their personnel from the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The American Association of Retired Persons, the insurance company that fought for the Affordable Care Act claimed the grandfather clause as a means of not covering certain medical claims. States maintained their right of exclusion from the health care exchanges discounting the fact they were promised large sums of money to participate in the exchanges but declined because of future expenses related to the program. The Affordable Care Act mandate on small businesses providing health coverage was not implemented on the designated date due to kinks within the program. The pushback from Americans is still fierce as many families are feeling the unaffordability and nuisance of the Affordable Care Act.

We are constantly told of the increased cost for medical services rendered, to justify an annual 20-50% increase in premiums. Insurance companies are feeling the pinch that some insurance divisions are closing down due to increased cost of business and decreased stock valuation. The savings that were promised through the passage of the Affordable Care Act are nil, due to the multitude of mandates increasing cost which were passed onto the consumer. Year after year private insurance companies follow the Medicare and Medicaid trend of reducing physician reimbursement, yet cost-sharing increases for the medical services rendered. For instance, a pediatric patient visiting the physician’s office for wheezing will pay a copay for the visit and any procedure done, unlike in the past most insurances required copays only for the visit.

Is the Affordable Care Act a win some lose some situation? Middle-Class Americans suffer the most as they do not have either the full support of the government nor the means to afford the increased cost of living. This is not a call for universal healthcare, rather an admission for the failed healthcare policies that were supported by the mass. We believed in empty words because of the embellishment of a simple life we all strive for, called the American Dream.

Feb 09

Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Property Appraiser

There are many reasons why you will have the need of a Personal Property Appraiser in your life time and this article is going to cover three reasons. An Appraiser can do many things to help in your life. When you are in need of cataloging or placing a value on your many collectables call an appraiser.

One thing is they can help protect your investment in collectables from art to zebra rugs and everything in between, by providing a complete inventory of all your items in question.

Collectables include;

Antiques
Art work
Bronzes
Vehicles and Equipment
Coins
Stamp collections
Gun collections
Precious Metals
Quilts
Sport Memorabilia
Taxidermy mounts
Autographs
Etc

Second benefit of hiring a Personal Property Appraiser is they are unbiased and not involved in any disputes of value when it comes to an appraisal. They use recent market activity to figure out the current value that is needed for your collection and provide you with a report. This is very important when it comes to tax donations, IRS requires an appraisal before accepting the donation.

The third reason is they are very helpful is, they catalog your collectables in one report and supply you with their current value. A Personal Property Appraiser should provide you a printed copy and an electronic copy on a PDF for your safe keeping. This is very helpful in times of disaster to refer to, or when there is an inheritance involved and the children want to know what a parent had and its current value.

There are many other reasons you need a Personal Property Appraiser and these reasons will present themselves many times in your life. Feel free to give one a call and discuss your needs with them.

Feb 04

5 Reasons To Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Occupational injuries are much more common than you might think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in 2013, resulting in an alarmingly high incidence rate of 3.3 cases for every 100 full-time workers. Although many of these accidents occurred in traditionally risky workplace environments (e.g., construction sites, coal mines, and oils rigs), most were reported by employers in relatively safe settings.

What Is Workers’ Comp?

The good news is that most companies are required carry workers’ compensation, which is a type of insurance that provides coverage for work-related illnesses and injuries. The bad news is that there is no guarantee you will by fully reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience as a result of an accident at work. With that in mind, here are five reasons you might decide to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.

1. You Can No Longer Work

Severe occupational accidents may result in a disability that prevents you from working ever again. Because the insurance companies that provide workers’ comp coverage are not in the habit of cutting huge settlement checks unless they absolutely must, you will need the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle negotiations for you. It is important to note that permanent disability settlements must last you and your family for the rest of what would have been your working years. Expert legal representation is needed to secure the largest possible settlement.

2. Your Employer Did Not Have Insurance

Because workers’ comp can be expensive, some unscrupulous employers do not carry it. If you were hurt on the job and your boss informs you that he does not have insurance, you can sue him for damages. As an employee, you have the right to be reimbursed by your boss for any out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages due to the injury, as well as your pain and suffering.

3. Your Employer Denies Your Claim

Because insurance premiums get more expensive the more claims you submit, employers are often reluctant to approve a claim unless they must. An experienced attorney can ensure that your boss understands the legal ramifications of denying a legitimate claim only because it might end up costing him more money for coverage.

4. Negligence Was Involved

Even if an accident caused the injury, gross negligence is grounds for a lawsuit. Whether the negligent party was your boss or another employee, you should explore your legal options with the help of a lawyer.

5. You Need Surgery

Once again, insurance companies are often reluctant to approve surgeries unless they are deemed necessary. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the insurer that your surgery is not only necessary, but also cost-effective.

If any of those mentioned above are true, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

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